Journaling Our Journeys

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By Shirley Gould

In a valiant quest to describe human emotions in our prose, we as writers scan lists of nouns and adjectives in an attempt to make them real to our readers. It is a tedious and time consuming process.

Gleaning from my personal journey, emotions experienced in our lives evoke the most vivid descriptions possible…if we journal them and release those feelings on the printed page. Every family rides a roller-coaster of experiences life brings their way.

With the recent loss of my husband, the immediate response was shock, then dis-belief, followed by the devastating reality of loss. Because we had an amazing relationship of love and companionship, the intense grief was painful, causing excruciating emotional despair.

The process of planning the funeral to honor the life he had lived, took me on a painful walk down memory lane that magnified the void he was leaving in my life. Looking back, I recognized how blessed I’d been to be married to a man of God, a missionary, a soul winner, a valiant warrior of the Cross.

His family and friends experienced a gamut of emotions throughout the days following his sudden death. Journaling those feelings has provided vivid pictures and conversations expressing those deep heart-felt emotions.

Though grief lingers on the edge of our thoughts, life has continued. When my daughter announced she was having a baby, we were ecstatic. For a new smile to enter our lives felt like a gift from the Lord. Those feelings are easy to put into words.

But for my other daughter who had lost four babies through miscarriage, her joy was dampened. She and her husband were happy for the addition to the family, but struggled with questions of ‘why?’ But, months later, when she discovered she was also expecting a baby, the joyous exuberating sky-rocketed.

Now, baby smiles bring another set of emotions to be cherished and shared. There are new memories to be made, pictures to be taken. Family traits are carried on in the lives of our grandchildren. In the smile of our eight year old grandson, I see my husband. In the compassion and caring of our granddaughter, I feel the love and compassion she is carrying into this world, mirroring the heart of her grandfather. History is repeating itself.

As Christian fiction writers, we have the opportunity to share how the Lord carries us through the different trials of our lives. We can show how He cares about the details of our existence. We offer hope for changes in situations, a divine solution to their struggles. It is the highest of callings.

Through the valley and mountain top experiences of our lives, we as writers can capture the events, journaling them for use in our prose. Sharing this heart felt array of descriptions will grab our readers and keep them turning pages. Isn’t that our goal?

Shirley GouldShirley Gould is an inspirational speaker for churches, women’s conferences, an African missionary, and a freelance journalist. She is founder of Kenya’s Kids Home for Street Children in Kenya, East Africa. She makes her home in the Nashville, Tennessee area, enjoying her three daughters, three sons-in-law, three grandchildren, Madison, Jake and newborn Finley Grace…and a really loud parrot.

Comments 0

  1. Awesome!! Your way & description of what your journey in life with al the joy & sorrow is so touching. Please keep us updated on what is happening in all the families! I pray before the Lord comes to visit JR’s resting place( but I know he’s not resting he is smiling that big old smile & rejoicing in Glory Land) but I still need to talk to him before I leave this world. Much love to JR’s Lady I am so proud of you ❤️🙏

  2. My Dear Precious Cousin,

    The story of your journey is very beautiful and heart warming. I am proud of you for all that you and JR have done and accomplished. I can remember as a young girl you telling me that you wanted to be a missionary to the deaf. I was in awe of you and very impressed. I have always looked up to you.

    I do know the joy and smiles of grandchildren because I have been blessed with 8 of them. They are most certainly treasured gifts from God. Although, I can not imagine the horrible devastation of JR being called Home so unexpectedly and way to soon. The answers are always in Gods plan but that doesn’t mean it is a easy thing to accept or even like. Shirley you are such an amazing lady of Grace and Strength. I do know that does not mean your heart hasn’t been broken but with the help of God, your children, grandchildren, family and your church family it will get easier.

    I love and admire you!

    Janet Eaves Murray

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